HCMC prisons overloaded

Prisons and detention houses in Ho Chi Minh City have been downgraded and failed to meet minimum area per individual, the HCMC People's Procuracy reported on Nov.16 to the Legal Department of the law-making HCMC People's Council. Offenders of the prison in Thu Duc District in Ho Chi Minh City Photo: Tuoi Tre Offenders in the prisons of both levels of district and city have not had enough minimum area of two square meters each, according to the agency in charge of public prosecution. So, policies and regulations and other conditions for offenders have not been well observed. Recently, police of districts 2, 5, and Nha Be have had to send prisoners and offenders on remand to Chi Hoa Prison for the shortage of detention areas in the localities. The HCMC People's Procuracy proposed the People's Council and the People's Committee of HCMC and the Ministry of Public Security to spend investment for upgrading and building new prisons. According to the report … [Read more...]

HCMC remains mired in woes

Van Nam Dinh La Thang pointed out these challenges at the closing session of the 21st meeting of the HCMC People’s Council on April 21. He said the city scored lower in the Vietnam Provincial Governance and Public Administration Performance Index (PAPI) while many problems need to be solved for the public good. Thang said in the previous five-year term, the HCMC People’s Council fulfilled its assigned duties and found new ways to deal with problems. But he cited a survey as showing that the city ranked 18th in PAPI in 2011 but its ranking fell to 47 among the nation’s 63 provinces and cities last year. PAPI indicates residents’ evaluation when interacting with authorities. The index is a tool to monitor governance and management capabilities of authorities to help them serve citizens better. Thang said this is a big challenge for the city to become a place that is worth living. City chairman Nguyen Thanh Phong said the city maintained reasonable growth … [Read more...]

Heavy-handed

Anh Thu Local news reports say the 50-year-old Nguyen Van Tan last August opened Xin Chao (hello) café just opposite the building of the Binh Chanh District police. However, shortly after the opening, the police inspected the garden coffee house and fined it VND17 million for five violations, including doing business without a business registration certificate and lacking a food hygiene and safety certificate, even though he was completing paperwork to obtain such certification. The district’s police repeated an inspection into Tan’s café in the following month. Though he produced a business registration certificate then, police inspectors still found fault with the café, saying it had committed other violations. The food processing area was found to have insects and use substandard water to cook food, according to the police. All of a sudden, Tan was charged with conducting business illegally two weeks later. Media reports question as to why the … [Read more...]

City to spend big on traffic congestion reductions

Van Nam Motorbikes and cars are stuck in a traffic jam in HCMC. The city government will spend big on projects aimed at reducing traffic congestion and accidents in 2016-2020 - PHOTO: THANH HOA The city government will seek approval from the HCMC People's Council for the public investment plan at a council meeting slated to open on April 21. Of the total funding, personnel quality enhancement will account for 18.5% and flood control 14.5%. The city is expected to disburse VND107 trillion for medium-term projects in the period. In addition, the city will mobilize finances from other sources, particularly the private sector, to fund such projects. At its 21st meeting, the council will give comments on a Group-A project costing around VND2.5 trillion funded by the city's budget and decide on 301 projects of Group B and 12 public investment programs requiring some VND88.3 trillion and nearly VND6.25 trillion respectively. The council will also consider and approve some of the … [Read more...]

City pollution data of low reliability

Van Nam Many motorcyclists wear face masks to move around in HCMC due to heavy air and dust pollution - PHOTO: ANH QUAN Environment experts said at a meeting between the HCMC People’s Council and experts last week that environmental pollution in the city has not been warned in a timely manner partly due to the poor pollution monitoring system. Phung Chi Sy, deputy director of the Institute of Tropical Technology and Environmental Protection said the environment must be monitored regularly and continuously to issue timely warnings. According to experts, semi-automatic and haphazard monitoring could not reflect the actual environmental pollution situation. Since 2012 the city has not invested in a good environmental monitoring system. Therefore, the city has not been able to collect comprehensive data, making it difficult to accurately assess water and air pollution. Nguyen Van Phuoc, director of the Institute of Environment and Resources under the Vietnam National … [Read more...]

City to have 30 NA deputies

Van Nam The Communication Subcommittee under the Election Committee of the 14th NA deputies and the municipal People's Council said the 14th NA election is set to take place from 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. on May 22 this year. In addition, there will be 35 units electing 105 deputies of the People's Council. The number of deputies in each district and each commune, ward and town shall not exceed 45 and 35, respectively. The election of NA and People's Council deputies shall be conducted via secret ballots from 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. on May 22, 2016. However, election units can start the voting earlier and end it later than scheduled but not before 5:00 a.m. or later than 9:00 p.m. The election results of the 14th NA will be publicized no later than June 11, while the announcement deadline for the results of People's Council deputies at all levels is no later than June 1. Tran Van Bay, deputy director of the HCMC Department of Justice, said that according to the 2015 Law on Local … [Read more...]

Parking ban in Saigon backpackers area is working: officials

Buses and cars block Pham Ngu Lao Street in Ho Chi Minh City's backpackers area before the parking ban is introduced. Photo: Nguyen Bao Ho Chi Minh City authorities said they are determined to enforce a ban on vehicles that rampantly park on the streets in the backpackers’ area, disregarding opposition from hotels in the neighborhood. The HCMC government earlier this year announced the ban, saying a large number of buses and cars occupied the area's already crowded streets and caused traffic congestion. Eight hotels in District 1 have protested the ban and complained that it is causing difficulties to their business. They said most of their guests come in on group tours, usually of 40-50 people, with a lot of luggage so they need to travel to the hotels on large buses. Now that the buses are banned from parking on the streets, it will be hard for the tourists, who will have to walk a long way to the hotels, they said. They proposed that the city government allow large buses … [Read more...]

Rach Chiec 2 bridge to be opened to traffic before Tet

Da Ban The bridge, whose name might be changed, was technically opened to traffic on December 29 last year. Vu Kien Thiet, director of Urban Traffic Management Unit No. 2 under the transport department, said the bridge is expected to be put into full use before January 30. The bridge is built in two phases, with a three-span steel arch bridge measuring 868 meters in length constructed in the first phase. The bridge consists of four lanes and costs VND871 trillion (over US$38.75 million). After the bridge is completed, motorcycles, passenger cars and vans under 3.5 tons are allowed to travel on the road section toward the bridge to reduce traffic density on Hanoi Highway and Mai Chi Tho Street. Trucks to Saigon Hi-Tech Park (SHTP) will move from Phu My Bridge to Rach Chiec 2 Bridge to enter the park. Another four-lane bridge will be built next to the existing bridge in phase two. Once completed, the bridge project will help develop Ring Road No. 2 into a complete road network … [Read more...]

Investors want legal framework for PPP improved

Van Nam Speaking at a dialogue on how to attract investment in HCMC via PPP in the city on January 26, Tran Van Thi, deputy general director of Cuu Long Corporation for Investment Development and Project Management of Infrastructure, said that for PPP, investors should be freed from the bureaucratic "ask-and-give" mechanism. Thi said a PPP project is usually carried out in tens of years, so its efficiency can only be ensured by mutual trust between investors and the State. He added that information about PPP projects should be made transparent. Tran Anh Tuan, acting director of the HCMC Institute for Development Studies, said the institute in collaboration with the municipal Department of Planning and Investment is drafting measures to woo investors to PPP projects, and will submit them to the city government for approval. Given the city’s tight budget, it is necessary to attract investment capital via PPP, so the "ask-and-give" mechanism, which requires investors to go … [Read more...]

SHTP touted as export driver

Quoc Hung Businesses at the park in District 9 posted total export revenue of nearly US$4.67 billion in 2015, jumping 49.3% from the previous year and beating the target by 16.7%. The figure made up 92% of the city’s total exports of electronic and hi-tech products, said Le Bich Loan, deputy head of the park’s authority. Last year, per capita labor productivity at SHTP reached US$196,000, or 9.8 times higher than at the city’s export processing zones and industrial zones. Meanwhile, material imports into SHTP amounted to over US$3.8 billion. The added value of export products made at SHTP went up by around 10% against three years ago but was still below the SHTP authority’s target. As most projects at SHTP turn out products for export, the park predicted that exports of its tenants would surge in the years to come when more major projects become operational. The US$2-billion electronics complex of South Korea’s Samsung Group is scheduled to begin … [Read more...]

Saigon Hi-Tech Park attracts investment capital

Chairwoman of the Ho Chi Minh City People's Council Nguyen Thi Quyet Tam and a delegation from the HCMC People’s Council worked with Saigon Hi-Tech Park (SHTP) management board on January 18. SHTP is a model of the country’s successive high technological zone. (Photo:SGGP) According to head of the Saigon Hi-Tech Park (SHTP) management board Le Hoai Quoc, the park attracted 28 projects with its total investment capital of US$ 1, 5 billion last year; especially, three projects of Sonio, United Healthcare and Samsung Company increased US$ 634, 5 million investment capital. At present, SHTP has issued investment certificates for 92 projects with total investment capital of US$ 5, 3 billion from top 10 most valuable technology brands in the world. Recently, investors have increased newly investment capital that affirmed sustainable development of SHTP. SHTP’s export turnover last year hit US$ 4, 66 billion, accounting for 20 percent of total export value … [Read more...]

City’s book street opened

The Ho Chi Minh City Book Street was officially kicked off at Nguyen Van Binh Street in district 1 on January 9. Chairman of the HCMC People’s Committee Nguyen Thanh Phong (blue shirt) visits the book street. A 144 meter long section was placed 20 stalls featuring new books and magazines from domestic publishers. The organization of the book street aims to promote the reading habit as well as advertise best books and magazines of major domestic publishers and distributors such as Kim Dong Publishing House, Tre (Youth) Publishing House, Tong Hop (General) Publishing House and others. On the same day, a book fair and exhibition about literature works during the resistance war against France and America were opened at the street book festival. Attending in the inaugural ceremony were Deputy Standing Secretary of the Ho Chi Minh City Party Committee Vo Van Thuong, Chairman of the HCMC People’s Committee Nguyen Thanh Phong, Deputy Secretary of HCMC Party Committee and … [Read more...]

HCMC kicks off special art program marking AEC’s establishment

A special art performance program in celebration of the establishment of the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC), a major milestone in the regional economic integration agenda in ASEAN took place at September 23 Park in Ho Chi Minh City on December 30. A special art program in celebration of the establishment of the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC)(Photo:SGGP) The event was organized by Department of Ho Chi Minh City Culture and Sport. Attending in event were Deputy Secretary HCMC Party's Committee, Chairwoman of HCMC People’s Council Nguyen Thi Quyet Tam, representatives of departments and agencies, foreign affairs delegates and international organizations in Ho Chi Minh City. Speaking at the opening ceremony, Deputy Chairwoman of the HCMC People’s Committee Nguyen Thi Thu said: "Within 50 years of establishment and development of the ASEAN, Vietnam as well as Ho Chi Minh City has made positive contributions to the success of the ASEAN". Ho Chi Minh City is considered … [Read more...]

HCM City seeks investors for flood control projects

VietNamNet Bridge – HCMC is calling for private firms to implement flood control projects in public-private partnership (PPP) or build-transfer format as chronic flooding is taking its toll on the city. Several firms have shown interest in the flood control projects. Trung Nam Construction Investment Corp. has recently proposed executing a flood control project at a cost of nearly VND9.93 trillion (US$441 million). The city government has given the go-ahead to Trung Nam to further study the feasibility of the project that would benefit districts 1, 4, 7, 8, Binh Chanh and Nha Be. The project would build six big sluices, an eight-kilometer embankment along the Saigon River and 25 drainage systems. The city government expects the project will help reduce direct and indirect damages caused by flooding, and control rising flood tides in low-lying areas covering 570 square kilometers and having 6.5 million residents on the right bank of the Saigon River and the … [Read more...]

City to get tough on polluting factories

Van Nam Over the past 13 years, thousands of pollution-causing factories in HCMC have been relocated but the results have been lower than expected. With the scheme, the city government expects to relocate all facilities causing serious environmental pollution in residential areas to industrial parks. The city government is preparing plans to deal with polluting factories in 2015-2016 and will force the relocation of polluters in 2015-2016. After 2017, the city will inspect operational production facilities and those failing to meet requirements will have to move. Facilities required for relocation are active in fields such as dyeing, pulp, chemical manufacturing and trading, printing, metal coating, tanning, electroplating, cement, livestock and poultry slaughtering. Compulsory relocation will also be imposed on warehouses storing inflammable, explosive, radioactive or toxic substances, and livestock facilities harmful to human health. At the same time, the city will issue … [Read more...]

City seeks investors for flood control projects

Van Nam Trung Nam Construction Investment Corp. has recently proposed executing a flood control project at a cost of nearly VND9.93 trillion (US$441 million). The city government has given the go-ahead to Trung Nam to further study the feasibility of the project that would benefit districts 1, 4, 7, 8, Binh Chanh and Nha Be. The project would build six big sluices, an eight-kilometer embankment along the Saigon River and 25 drainage systems. The city government expects the project will help reduce direct and indirect damages caused by flooding, and control rising flood tides in low-lying areas covering 570 square kilometers and having 6.5 million residents on the right bank of the Saigon River and the downtown. Nonetheless, a recent report of the HCMC Department of Planning and Investment said a hindrance to the project is limited land used as a form of payment for the investor. If the project is implemented in the BT format, the investor would be allocated land worth around … [Read more...]

Lower fee sought for rice farms converted into residential sites

Manh Tung An apartment project is under development in HCMC. HoREA has proposed lowering the planned fee for converting rice land to residential sites - PHOTO: MANH TUNG The HCMC Department of Finance has sent the HCMC government a draft decision on fees for conversion of rice land into non-agricultural sites. It is waiting for approval from the HCMC People’s Council. This fee is new while other taxes and fees for changing land use purposes still exist. According to the draft, local and foreign organizations, households and individuals that receive land from the State for non-farming purposes are required to pay fees and charges in line with the current regulations plus a sum to protect and develop rice growing land. This sum depends on how the allocated land is used. If land is used to build houses for sale or rent, and provide services like trade, finance, restaurant, hotel and office, users would have to pay the full price of rice land, which is announced by the … [Read more...]

HCM City’ leaders visit naval forces

A delegation of Ho Chi Minh City high ranking officials led by Deputy Secretary of HCMC Party Committee and Chairwoman of HCMC People's Council Nguyen Thi Quyet Tam on December 16 visited High Command of Vietnam People's Navy in Ho Chi Minh City on the occasion of the 71st anniversary of the founding of the Viet Nam People's Army. Head of the city Party Committee's Commission for Organization, Vo Thi Dung visits Ho Chi Minh City Border Guards Headquarters. (Photo: Sggp) Ms. Tam sent greetings and congratulations to staff, employees, soldiers and military workers. She highly appreciated the position and the important role of the Vietnam People's Navy in protecting maritime and islands. The delegation also visited the Naval Region 2 Command of the Vietnam People's Navy. On the day, Head of the city Party Committee's Commission for Organization, Vo Thi Dung led a delegation of Ho Chi Minh City high ranking officials paid a visit to the Southern Border Guard High Command and Ho Chi … [Read more...]

HCMC has two new department directors

Van Nam Kien will assume the post of director of the Industry and Trade Department from January 1 when the appointment decision takes effect. The decision comes after the HCMC People’s Council elected Le Van Khoa, director of the Industry and Trade Department, vice chairman of the HCMC People’s Committee late last week. Kien served as chairman of District 1 People’s Committee before he took up the post of deputy director of the department in October this year. The department’s current deputy directors are Le Ngoc Dao, Phan Hoan Kiem, Nguyen Phuong Dong, Ton Quang Tri, Tran Vinh Nhung and Nguyen Ngoc Hoa. Meanwhile, Tran Xuan Dien, deputy director of the Industry and Trade Department, has been assigned as deputy secretary of District 10’s Party committee. Nguyen Toan Thang served as chairman of District 12 before being appointed deputy director of Department of Natural Resources and Environment in August this year. His new appointment comes into … [Read more...]

City to focus on economic restructuring, growth quality

Van Nam HCMC’s newly elected chairman Nguyen Thanh Phong (R) poses for photographs with his predecessor Le Hoang Quan at the closing session of the HCMC People’s Council late last week - PHOTOS: VAN NAM Phong catalogued the tasks for the forthcoming term of the city government at the closing session of the HCMC People’s Council late last week. More than 85% of the council’s deputies elected Phong, deputy secretary of the HCMC Party Committee, as chairman of the city last Friday, replacing Le Hoang Quan, who retires after a nine-year stint in the city government. Phong, 53, who is also a member of the Party Central Committee, was the first head of the Vietnamese Student Association’s HCMC branch in 1995 and then served as deputy secretary of the Ho Chi Minh Communist Youth Union in HCMC. He used to serve as secretary of the Party Committee of Ben Tre Province, his hometown, of the provincial Party Committee and chairman of the People’s … [Read more...]